Qualitative accounting research: dispelling myths and developing a new research agenda

Charl de Villiers*, John Dumay, Warren Maroun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This article deals with some common misconceptions about qualitative research. Qualitative studies are well suited to studying complex interconnections and relationships without reducing the complexity to simple numbers or variables. Rather than excluding outliers from a dataset, qualitative researchers are interested in these exceptions and often examine them in-depth in order to develop better understandings and generate new theories on how accounting develops, functions and influences behaviour. New understandings and theory allow qualitative research to advance recommendations, extend the boundaries of accounting research, and make important contributions to both accounting theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1487
Number of pages29
JournalAccounting and Finance
Issue number3
Early online date30 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Methods
  • Qualitative
  • Research paradigm


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